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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

AMENTIA

387

cleft   or   highly   arched   palate,   irregularly   set   teeth,   enlarged   tonsils,
adenoids, curved "bones, etc.

Imbecility.—This is a minor form of idiocy, and may or may not be
congenital. Imbeciles are " incapable of managing themselves or their
affairs or in the case of children, of being taught to do so ". They are able
to speak, though their command of language is very poor. Their memory
is very feeble. In some cases it is highly developed, though not the intellect.
They can mechanically repeat without any mistake "what is taught to them,
but cannot understand its meaning. They are easily roused to passion, and
may consequently become dangerous. They may commit theft or even
murder. Owing to their repulsive manners and habits it is not possible to
associate with them, but with a little patience and perseverance they can be
taught to dress decently, to eat properly and to control their animal instincts.

Fig. 155.— Microcephalic Imbeciles:  Note the characteristic facial expression
with the small head, low and flat forehead and prominent ears.

(By permission of Dr. N. J. Modi and the Editor of the Indian Journal of Pediatrics.)

A peculiar type of microcephalic imbeciles, commonly known as " Shah
Daula's chuha (mice) " is prevalent in the Punjab. They are so named
from their fanciful resemblance to mice owing to their flattened skull, and
prominent ears. They are dedicated to the shrine of Shah Daula, whose
tomb is in Gujarat (Punjab).4 They have no other deformity except the
peculiar shape of the head, though most of them are deaf-mute, and have a
squint in the eye. They are capable of learning simple employments, and
are usually modest and decent.

Feeble-mindedness. — Under the Mental Deficiency (England) Act, 1913,
feeble-minded persons or morons are defined as persons in whose case there
exists from birth or from an early age mental defectiveness not amoixatJBg
to imbecility, yet so pronounced that they require care, supervision and
control for their own protection, or for the protection of others, or* in the
case of children, that they by reason, of such defectiveness appear t^ fe
permanently incapable of receiving proper benefit from insteietioii M

4.   Overbeck-Wrigttt,

322.